In its first 90 days of existence, One Fund Boston raised nearly $61 million in donations for victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings. By the end of the year, there was over $12 million in new donations.
But when the question of distribution is raised, fund administrators are faced with the enormous task of deciding how much financial compensation each of the 230 victims should receive.
“The severity of the injuries suffered by so many last April is almost too much to comprehend and we understand money alone cannot replace all that was lost,” James Gallagher, president of One Fund Boston said in a statement.
The distribution of funds is based on severity of injuries and time spent hospitalized. For the first distribution in June of last year, six eligible claimants received $2,195,000.
These claimants, known as “Category A,” includes loss of life, double amputations of limbs and permanent brain damage as a result of the Marathon tragedy. As the severity of injuries decreases, so does the financial compensation.
For many victims, the gifts from the One Fund help lighten the burden of the recovery period. In addition to hospital bills and the price of having homes retrofitted for accessibility, many victims were left unable to work.
Several injured parties have had additional charitable foundations established in their names, like MBTA Police Officer Dic Donohue, who was severely injured by gunshot wounds during a shootout with the alleged Marathon bombers. Donohue says his recovery is steady, but slow.
“I am absolutely surprised at how long things have taken to get to this point in my physical recovery, and I still have a long way to go,” Donohue tells the Metro, adding that his memories of the period are slowly returning. “I am still making progress, and it helps to compare myself to where I was a month ago or even six months ago.”
This summer, survivors will receive another distribution of compensation from the One Fund. The organization expects an increase in donations throughout 2014, especially due to the one-year anniversary of the bombings.
But for all victims, it’s not just financial compensation that makes the recovery experience easier. Without emotional support, the challenges of everyday life would be nearly impossible.
“I am not on this journey alone. I’ve received a tremendous amount of support from my family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers,” says Donohue. “It makes things a little easier and gives me even more motivation to get well.”